Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Child Development Gem

Oh my sweet, sweet, Henry. He’s two and a half and I am sure most of you know what all entails in having a two-year-old. And he’s had his terrible moments but he is mostly a wild man. Words that I commonly use referring to him are: wildman, bezrk-o, silly and well so on. These same words are often also used to describe his mother, so it’s all meant lovingly.

A quick back story on Henry, he was a preemie, born at 30 weeks coming in at a whopping 1 lb. 15oz. and 13 1/2 inches long. He was my little sea monkey. Thankfully he was just small and needed to grow and didn’t have any major medical issues. He spent eight weeks in the NICU and came home weighing around 4 and a half pounds. When we were preparing to graduate from the NICU the case worker there told us about a program for children who have some form of developmental delays or disability. She recommended this to almost everyone in the NICU and we are so glad that she did.

The program is ECI, Early Childhood Intervention, and I cannot say enough good things about them! It’s meant for children between the ages of 0-3 and they cover everything. If you feel your child is not meeting a milestone when they should or even if you feel something is off, they will do a full evaluation, looking at everything from gross motor skills to communication skills and more than I can list here. After we came home from the NICU and got settled we scheduled an evaluation and learned that Henry qualified for physical therapy because of his small size and weight. A therapist came out to our house once a month and basically gave us a private lesson on what we could do to help Henry meet milestones like rolling over, pulling up on things and so on. It was awesome, sure they are there to help Henry but they helped Ken and I even more! We did a year of physical therapy and decided we were happy with where he was and how he was doing so we stopped.

At Henry’s two-year check up, I spoke with our pediatrician about Henry’s language. He had about 20 to 25 words in his vocabulary and he “spoke” all the time the problem was the rest of us had no idea what he was saying! He was a jabber-er, so our pedi recommended getting an evaluation done by ECI. We did just that and they said he qualified for speech therapy because at the time he had communication skills more like a 16-18 month old. BUT guess what his gross motor skills were around a 27 month old! Yea physical therapy! They explained that with kiddos like Henry sometimes they get so into the physical aspects that speech goes on the back burner. Made sense to me. So after that evaluation we started speech every other week and then we also have an EIS, early intervention specialist, come the other weeks. She works on well....everything, like working on his attention span, following through on tasks and etc. Basically preparing him to be a student, but guess who she is really teaching...you got it, me!

Well six months into it and we have a 2.5 year old we can mostly understand! It has been amazing how fast he has caught on and how much his vocabulary has grown. He has always understood a lot but being able to say it back to you has been hard. He will still go on these jibberish rants, mostly when he’s being bezerk but it was been amazing to watch him grow. Our speech pathologist and EIS our amazing and truly care about seeing Henry succeed and we felt the same way when he was in physical therapy. ECI is a great program and I always recommend them to Moms who are concerned about their child’s development. I invite you to “google” them and check it out or even discuss it with your pediatrician. I’ll be sad to leave the ECI program when Henry turns 3, because they have taught us so much and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. He is my little wild man but now we can understand him and get him to focus when we need to.

ECI is one of those gems that many parents don’t know about. They are there for you and your family and want to see your little baby grow into a flourishing child and adult.

Laine Moses is a stay-at-home-Mom to Henry and Lucy.

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